Yamaguchi's Grand Slam Gives Hoosiers 7-4 Win Over Evansville
March 26, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Redshirt Senior Tory Yamaguchi made her 35th career home run a memorable one on Wednesday against the University of Evansville Purple Aces, drilling a grand slam to the opposite field in the fourth inning to break open a tie game and propel the Hoosiers on to a 7-4 win.
Julia Hamilton and Jennifer Glueckert both collected two hits in the game for Indiana (7-19) and scored a run to set the table for the middle of the order to drive them in. This was all in support of starting pitcher Monica Wright (4-7), who threw her fifth straight complete game to earn her fourth win of the season. Statistically it wasn't one of her better outings on the year, but the offense gave her enough run support to be successful. The junior gave up four runs on six hits while striking out three and walking three. Jacki Bradley (6-6) took the loss for the Aces (14-8) by allowing seven runs, five earned, on eight hits in four innings of work.
The Hoosiers jumped out in front in the bottom of the first inning with the top of the lineup setting the pace from the start. Hamilton got the rally started with an infield single to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kelli Ritchison. Emily Bergeson laced a pitch deep down the right field line for an RBI double. Then with two outs, Tory Yamaguchi reached on a fielding error by Evansville shortstop Amanda Ockomon to keep the inning alive for Jennilee Huddleston. Huddleston hit a slow roller to shortstop and beat the throw to first base, giving Bergeson the chance to scamper home for the second run of the inning and a 2-0 Indiana lead.
Wright left two Aces on base in the top of the first and did not allow another threat until they got a triple and a single in the top of the fourth to knot the score at 2-2.
After watching Evansville tie the game in the top of the inning, the Hoosiers came to bat in the bottom of the fourth trying to regain the lead. Glueckert lined a single to center field to start the inning and was sacrificed to second by Hamilton. Another fielding error by Ockomon on a ball hit by Ritchison left runners at the corners with one out for Bergeson. The Aces chose to walk Bergeson intentionally for the second time in the game, leaving the inning up to freshman Brittany Devitt. In a similar situation in the second inning, Devitt hit a soft line drive to shortstop to end the threat, but this time she smacked a single back up the middle to give IU the 3-2 lead. But the bases were still loaded for Yamaguchi, who deposited the Bradley pitch over the fence in right field for the first grand slam by a Hoosier since Stephanie Pellerito did so against Ball State on March 4, 2007 in Carbondale, Ill., and a 7-2 lead. The blast also leaves Yamaguchi just three home runs shy of Indiana's all-time home run mark of 38 set by Monica Armendarez.
Wright returned to the circle the final three innings and, despite allowing a two-run home run in the top of the seventh, kept the high-powered Evansville bats quiet.
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The Hoosiers will now turn their attention to conference play this weekend, as the sixth-ranked Michigan Wolverines come to Bloomington for the Big Ten opener on Friday at 3 p.m.
- Yamaguchi got her first start of the season at first base since her sophomore year.
- Brittany Devitt made her second consecutive start at third base for the Hoosiers while Jennilee Huddleston got the nod at shortstop for the first time this season as well.
- Indiana and Penn State will meet at the IU Softball Field on Sunday, March 30 at 11 a.m. for the first-ever televised softball game on the Big Ten Network. The first 200 fans in attendance will receive a free Mini-Fan.
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